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"the liberation of the peoples -who now lib beneath 



— Joint Note of the Allied Oovemments 
in Answer to President Wilson. 




88 Wbbt 82d Stbebt, Nkw Yobk 

Price 5 Cents 




No one who has studied the history of the Near East 
for the last five centuries will be surprised that the 
Allied Powers have declared their purpose to put an 
^ end to the rule of the Turk in Europe, and still less 

will he dissent from their determination to deliver the 
Christian population of what is called the Turkish 
Empire, whether in Asia or in Europe, from a Govem- 
'^ ment which during those five centuries has done noth- 

i, ing but oppress them. These changes are indeed long 

/^ overdue. They ought to have come more than a cen- 

^ tury ago, because it had then already become manifest 

4 that the Turk was hopelessly unfit to govern, with any 

approach to justice, subject races of a different reli- 
gion. The Turk has never been of any use for any 
purpose except fighting. He cannot administer^ 
^' though in his earlier days he had the sense to employ 

^^ intelligent Christian administrators. He cannot se- 

t^ cure justice. As a governing power, he has always 

tfi shown himself incapable, corrupt and cruel. He has 

^ always destroyed ; he has never created. 


Those whom we call the Turks are not a nation at 
all in the proper sense of the word. The Ottoman 
Turks were a small conquering tribe from Central Asia^ 
ruled during the first two centuries of their conquests 
by a succession of singularly able and unscrupulous 
Sultans, who subjugated the Christian populations of 
Asia Minor and South-Eastem Europe, compelling 

part of these populations to embrace Mohammedanism^ 




and supporting their own power by seizing the chil- 
dren of the rest, forcibly converting them t^ Islam, 
and making out of them an ef&cient standing army, 
the Janizaries, by whose valour and discipline the 
Turkish wars of conquest were carried on from early 
in the fifteenth down into the nineteenth century. As 
a famous English historian wrote, the Turks are noth- 
ing but a robber band, encamped in the countries they 
have desolated. As Edmund Burke wrote, the Turks 
are savages, with whom no civilised Christian nation 
ought to form any alliance. 

Turkish rule ought to be ended in Europe, because, 
even in that small part of it which the Sultan still 
holds, it is an alien power, which has in that region 
been, and is now, oppressing or massacring, slaughter- 
ing or driving from their homes, the Christian popula- 
tion of Greek or Bulgarian stock. It ought to be 
turned out of the western coast regions of Asia Minor 
for a like reason. The people there are largely, per- 
haps mostly, Greek-speaking Christians. So ought it 
to be turned out of Constantinople, a city of incom- 
parable commercial and political importance, with the 
guardianship of which it is unfit to be trusted. So 
ought it to be turned out of Armenia and Cilicia, and 
Syria, where within the last two years it has been de- 
stroying its Christian subjects, the most peaceful and 
industrious and intelligent part of the population. 

If a Turkish Sultanate is to be left in being at all, 
it may, with least injury to the world, be suffered to 
exist in Central and Northern Asia Minor, where 
the population is mainly Mussulman, and there are 


comparatively few Christians — and those only in the 
cities — ^to suffer from its misgovernment. Even there 
one would be sorry for its subjects, Mussulman as well 
as Christian, but a weak Turkish State, such as it 
would then be, could not venture on the crimes of 
which it has been guilty when it was comparatively 

That the faults of Turkish government are incurar 
ble, has been most clearly shown by the fact that the 
Young Turkish gang who gained power when they had 
deposed Abd-ul-Hamid, have surpassed even that mon- 
ster of cruelty in their slaughter of the unoffending 
Armenians. The ''Committee of Union and Prog- 
ress" began by promising equal rights to all races and 
faiths. This was ''Union.'' It proceeded forthwith 
not only to expel the Greek-speaking inhabitants of 
Western Asia Minor, and to exterminate the Armen- 
ians, but to attempt to Turkify the Albanians (Mus- 
lims as well as Christians) and to proscribe their lan- 
guage. This is what "Union'' has in fact meant. 
What "Progress" has meant in the hands of ruflSans 
like Enver and Talaat, Prussianized Muslims worse 
than the old Turkish pashas, we have all seen within 
the last three years. The Muslim peasant of Asia 
Minor is an honest, kindly fellow when not roused by 
fanaticism, but the Turk, as a Governing Power, is 
irreclaimable, and the Allied Powers would have been 
false to all the principles of Right and Humanity for 
which they are fighting if they had not proclaimed 
that no Turkish Government shall hereafter be per- 
mitted to tyrannize over subjects of another faith. 


''Let fhe Tnrks now cany away fhdr abuses in fhe 
mdy iHMsible manner, namely, by carrying away fhem- 
sdves. Their Zaptiehs and fheir Mndirs, their Bim- 
^^aliii? and their Ynzbashis, their Ejiimakams and their 
Pashas, one and all, bag and baggage, shall I hoi>e 
dear out from the province th^ have desdated and 
profaned. ' ^--Gladstone. 

''A near fatnre will, it is to be hoped, blot out the 
iKandal that such heathendom should ever have estab- 
lished itself on European soiL What has this Turkish 
Empire done in three entire centnriest It has done 
jioihing but destroy. '* — TreUsckhe. 


The Aims of thb Atj^tws 

President Wilson, in his note to all the belligerent 
governments, called npon both parties to state in the 
f uU light of day the aims they have set themselves in 
prosecuting the War. The Allied Nations, in their 
joint response made public on January 11th, 1917, 
explain that they find no difficulty in meeting this 
request, and make good their words by stating a series 
of definite conditions. Among them are :-— 

^^The liberation of the peoples who now lie beneath 
the murderotis tyranny of the Turks; and 

^*The expulsion from Europe of the Ottoman Emr 
pire, which has proved itself so radically alien ta 
Western Civilisation/' 

The plan of the Allies for the settlement of Turkey 
is thus communicated to the world without reserve^ 
and it is worth examining what it involves, and why 
it is right. 

The Subject Peoples op Tubkey 

Who are the peoples in Turkey whom the Allies are 
determined to liberate? The Ottoman Empire con- 
tains somewhat more than 20,000,000 inhabitants, and 
of these only about 8,000,000 — ^less than 40 per cent^ 


2 "mUEDEROUS tyranny of the TtJRKS" 

of the whole— are Turks.* There are 7,000,000 
Arabs; there are 2,000,000 Armenians (or, rather, 
there were, before the atrocities of 1915) ; the Greeks, 
too, number little short of 2,000,000, and there are 
probably the same number of non-Turkish mountain- 
eers — ^Kurds, Nestorians, Druses, Maronites and so on. 
The non-Turkish peoples thus amount to more than 
60 per cent, of the population of Turkey. They were 
all of them settled in the country before the Turks 
arrived — the Turks conquered Asia Minor about the 
time the Normans conquered England, while several 
of the conquered races have lived there from time im- 
memorial — and all these races have been at their low- 
est ebb since and so long as they have been under 
Turkish Government. 

The Greeks were leaders of civilisation in the An- 
cient World and in the Middle Ages, till the Greek 
Empire of Constantinople was conquered by the Turks 
in 1453. From that moment they dropped out till the 
War of Liberation, a century ago, restored part of 
the Greek nation to independence. The Greeks who 
have remained under Turkish government have also 
remained cut off from Greek national life. 

The Armenians were the first people to make Chris- 
tianity their national religion. They are an intellec- 
tual people, clever and industrious in practical affairs 
and in the life of the spirit. When they possessed an 

*The word "Turk" is here used as equivalent to ** Turk- 
ish-speaking''; but of course only a fraction of the present 
Turldsh-speaking population in the Ottoman Empire is Turkish 
by descent. The rest are older native elements, forcibly as- 
similated by the handful of Turkish conquerors from C3entral 


independent kingdom they produced a fine literature 
and architecture, which Turkish conquest destroyed. 
Since then the Turks have repressed all symptoms of 
Armenian revival by massacres, the most terrible of 
which was perpetrated last year. 

The Arabs created a wonderful civilisation at the 
time when Mediaeval Europe was in its darkest age. 
Their discoveries in mathematics, astronomy, chemis- 
try, medicine, are the foundations of modern science, 
as is witnessed by the Arabic words in our scientific 
vocabulary. This Arabic civilisation was swamped 
by the Turkish migrations from Central Asia in the 
11th century, and blotted out by the Mongols, who 
followed in the wake of the Turks and sacked Bagh- 
dad, the Arab capital, in the 13th century. The 
Arabs are still the most progressive race in the Islamic 
world; they are almost as numerous as the Turks in 
the population of the Ottoman Empire, and they are 
not divided from the Turks by difEerence of religion, 
Yet the Turkish government excludes them from all 
share of control, and has thwarted their revival as per- 
sistently as it has thwarted that of the Armenians and 
Greeks. They too have been massacred and exiled 
during the present War. 

The Kurds, also, were there before the Turks, but 
they have not the same tradition as the other three 
races behind them. In their case the Turks have not 
destroyed an existing civilisation, but have prevented 
them acquiring civilisation when they showed indina* 
tion to do so. The Kurd has been a lawless mountain 
shepherd for many centuries, but he becomes a hard- 
working, peaceable cultivator when he comes down 

4 "muedeeous tyeanny of the tueks" 

into the plains. Tlie Turkidi government delib^ately 
cbedced this tendency, which began to show itself in 
the Kurds about half a century ago, by serving out 
arms to them and licensing them to harry their Ar- 
menian neighbours. 

The Musdebous Tyranny of the Turks: The First 


This maiming and warping of more gifted peoples 
is in itself a capital indictment of Turkish domination, 
but the wrong is made infinitely worse by the outra- 
geous methods by which it has been carried out. These 
methods are justly described as a ^^ murderous tyran- 
ny in the Allies' Besponse to President Wilson's ques- 

There are three stages in the history of Ottoman 
tyranny, and the worst stage is the present. The Ot- 
toman State has been a purely military State from be- 
ginning to end. Osman, its founder, from whom the 
Osmanli Turks take their name, was the hereditary 
chief of a wandering band of Turkish freebooters from 
Central Asia, whose father was licensed by Turkish 
Sultans already established in Asia Minor to carve out 
a principality for himself at the expense of the neigh- 
bouring Christians, just as the Teutonic knights 
carved out the principality of Prussia at the expense 
of the original native population. This Ottoman do- 
minion, which started thus in the 13th century with 
a few square miles of territory in North- Western Asia 
Minor, expanded during the next three hundred years 
tiU it stretched from within a few miles of Vienna to 
Mecca and Baghdad. It destroyed the Ancient Em- 

"muedeeous tyranny of the Turks" 5 

pire of Constantinople, which had preserved Greek 
learning during the Middle Ages ; the free Christian 
kingdoms of Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia, Wallachia, 
Moldavia and Hungary ; and the independent Moslem 
states of Western Asia. Such a career of destructive 
conquest was a disaster to civilisation, and it was only- 
made possible by a ruthless militarism. 

The Ottoman method of conscription was to take 
a tribute of children from the conquered Christians — 
so many children from each family every so many 
years — ^bring them up in barracks as fanatical Mos- 
lems and train them as professional recruits. These 
** Janissaries,'* militarised from their youth up and 
divorced from every human relation except loyalty 
to their war-lord, were the most formidable soldiers in 
Europe, and each new Christian land they conquered 
was a new field of recruitment for their corps. The 
Ottoman Empire literally drained its victims' blood, 
and its history as a Vampire-State is unparalleled in 
the history of the world. 

The Second Stage: Abd-ul-Hamh) 

This was the first stage in Ottoman history; the sec- 
ond, inevitable in a purely military state, was internal 
and external decay. The Empire was cut short by 
Austria, Russia and other foreign powers ; the subject 
peoples began to win back their freedom by breaking 
away from under the Turkish yoke. A good govern- 
ment would have met these dangers by improving the 
conditions of the Empire. It would have tried to 
make the subject peoples contented, to give their capa- 
cities for development free play, to build of them a 

6 "mubjderous tyeanny of the tueks" 

bulwark against outside enemies. But the Turkish 
government had not the imagination or the good will 
to adopt a policy like this. It had nothing but its 
military tradition of violence and cunning, and it 
tried to stave oflE the consequences of its own rotten- 
ness by making the subject peoples even weaker and 
more wretched than itself. This was the policy of 
Abd-ul-Hamid, who reigned from 1876 to 1908, and 
his method was to set one race against another. The 
Kurds were encouraged to massacre the Armenians; 
the Turkish soldiers were ordered to join in the mas- 
sacre when the Armenians put up a resistance. The 
Bulgers were allowed to form armed bands to **Bul- 
garise" the villages of Macedonia, and the Greeks to 
form bands of their own to withstand them ; the Mace- 
donian peasants were harried by both parties, and if 
they harboured the bands to avoid incurring their 
vengeance, Turkish troops came up and burned the 
village for treason against the Ottoman State. 

The Third Stage : The Young Turks 

In the first stage the subject peoples paid their trib- 
ute of children and were then left to themselves. In 
the second stage they were hounded on to destroy each 
other by the Machiavellian policy of Abd-ul-Hamid. 
The third stage has been introduced by the Young 
Turks, and they have been destroying the subject 
races by systematic government action — a government 
employing its resources in the murder of its own peo- 
ple. And this has been carried on with redoubled 
vigour and ruthlessncss since the Turkish Government 

"murderous tyranny of the Turks'' 7 

entered the War, and has been sure of Germany's sup- 
port in defying the civilised world. 

The Young Turks are '* Nationalists" who have 
learnt in the German and Magyar school. Their na- 
tional ideal is to impose their own nationality by force 
on others. When the Young Turks came into power in 
1908 they announced a programme of **Ottomanisa- 
tion." Every language in the Empire but Turkish 
was to be driven off the field ; Turkish was to be the 
sole language of government, and even of higher edu- 
cation. The non-Turkish majority was to be assimi- 
lated to the Turkish minority by coercion. The pro- 
gramme was copied from the **Prussianisation" of the 
Poles and *'Magyarisation'' of the Boumans, Slovaks 
and Southern Slavs in Hungary whom the Allies de- 
clare their intention of liberating likewise from for- 
eign domination, in another clause of their Note. But 
in their Nationalism, as in their Militarism, the Turks 
have gone to greater lengths than their European 
counterparts. The Prussians expropriate Polish land- 
owners against the payment of a price for their land ; 
the Turks drive forth Greeks and Bulgars destitute 
from their homes and possessions. The Magyars mobi- 
lise troops to terrorise Slovaks and Boumans at the 
elections; the Turks draft the criminals from their 
prisons into the Gendarmerie to exterminate the Ar- 
menian race. Prom the beginning of their regime the 
Young Turks have pursued their nationalistic pro- 
gramme by butchery. The Adana massacres of 1909, 
the most terrible slaughter of Armenians between the 
Hamidian massacres of 1895-6 and those at present in 
progress, occurred within a year of the proclamation 

8 "muedeeous tyeanny of the tueks'* 

of the Young Turk Constitution, which assured equal 
rights of citizenship to all inhabitants of the Empire. 
In 1913 the Turkish Army was engaged in exterminat- 
ing the Albanians because they had an un-Ottoman 
national spirit of their own. This work was interrupt- 
ed by the Balkan War, but the Turks revenged them- 
selyes for their defeat in this war, which liberated 
large Greek and Slav populations from their yoke, by 
exterminating all Greeks and Slavs left in the terri- 
tory they still retained. They occupied themselves 
with this in the interval between the end of the Balkan 
and the beginning of ihe European War, and Greece 
was on the verge of war with Turkey again to protect 
the dwindling remnant of the Greeks in Turkey's 
power, when the crisis was overtaken by the greater 
conflict. As soon as Turkey became Germany's ally, 
Germany restrained the Young Turks from persecut- 
ing their Greek subjects, because it was not to Ger- 
many's interest that Greece should be involved in the 
war on the side of the Entente. But she left them a 
free hand with fheir other subject peoples, and the re- 
sult has been the Armenian cmd Arab atrocities, which 
began in 1915 and have gone on ever since. 

The Abmeniak Atbogities of 1915 

Only a third of the two million Armenians in Tur- 
key have survived, and that at the price of apostatis- 
ing to Islam or else of leaving all they had and flee- 
ing across the frontier. The refugees saw their women 
and children die by the roadside, and apostacy too, 
for a woman, involved the living death of marriage to 
a Turk and inclusion in his harem. The other two- 

"muederous tyranny of the Turks" 9 

thirds were ** deported" — ^that is, they were marched 
away from their homes in gangs, with no food or cloth- 
ing for the journey, in fierce heat and bitter cold, hun- 
dreds of miles over rough mountain roads. They were 
plundered and tormented by their guards, and by sub- 
sidised bands of brigands, who descended on them in 
the wilderness, and with whom their guards frater- 
nised. Parched with thirst, they were kept away from 
the water with bayonets. They died of hunger and 
exposure and exhaustion, and in lonely places the 
g^iards and robbers fell upon them and murdered 
them in batches — some at the first halting place after 
the start, others after they had endured weeks of this 
agonising journey. About half the deportees — and 
there was at least 1,200,000 of them in all — ^perished 
thus on their journey, and the other half have been 
dying lingering deaths ever since at their journey's 
end; for they have been deported to the most in- 
hospitable regions in the Ottoman Empire: the ma- 
larial marshes in the Province of Konia ; the banks of 
the Euphrates where, between Syria and Mesopotamia, 
it runs through a stony desert ; the sultry and utterly 
desolate track of the Hedjaz Railway. The exiles who 
are still alive have suffered worse than those who per- 
ished by violence at the beginning. 

The same campaign of extermination has been 
waged against the Nestorian Christians on the Persian 
frontier, and against the Arabs of Syria, Christians 
and Moslems without discrimination. In Syria there 
is a reign of terror. The Arab leaders have been im- 
prisoned, executed, or deported already, and the mass 
of the people lie paralysed, expecting the Armenians' 

10 "murderous tyranny of the Turks'* 

fate, and dreading every moment to hear the decree 
of extermination go forth. 

This wholesale destruction, which has already over- 
taken two of the subject peoples in Turkey, and 
threatens all that 60 per cent, of the population which 
is not Turkish in language, is the direct work of the 
Turkish government. The ** Deportation Scheme*' 
was drawn up by the central government at Con- 
stantinople and telegraphed simultaneously to all the 
local authorities in the Empire; it was executed by 
the oflScials, the Qendarmerie, the Army, and the 
bands of brigands and criminals organised in the gov- 
ernment 's service. No State could be more completely 
responsible for any act within its borders than the 
Ottoman State is responsible for the appalling crimes 
it has committed against its subject peoples during 
the War. 


Eadically Alien to Western Civilisation** 

These crimes, and the phases of Ottoman History 
which lead up to them, demonstrate, in the language 
of the Allies' Note, that ^^the Ottoman Empire has 
proved itself radically alien to Western Civilisation/' 
Where Ottoman rule has spread, civilisation has per- 
ished. While Ottoman rule has lasted, civilisation has 
remained in abeyance. It has only sprung up again 
when the oppressed peoples, at the cost of their own 
blood and by the aid of civilised nations more for- 
tunate than themselves, have succeeded in throwing 
off the Turkish yoke; and these struggles have been 
so much regained for liberty and progress in the 

"muederous tyranny of the Turks" 11 

world, because the infliction of Turkish rule upon any- 
other people has been an incalculable loss. 

To this long history of horror the Allies are de- 
termined to put an end. They will ^'liberate the peo- 
ples who now lie beneath this murderous tyranny.'^ 
But they proclaim no tyrannous intention against 
the Turks themselves. In another clause of their note, 
they put it on record that ^Ht has never been their 
intention to seek the extermination or the political 
extinction of the Oermanic peoples." The declaration 
holds good, by implication, for the Magyar, Bulgar, 
and Turkish peoples who are the Germanic peoples' 
allies. There are regions in Asia Minor where the 
Turk is undisputed occupant of the land. The Allies 
have no intention of '* deporting" or exterminating 
the Turk from these regions, as the Turk has deported 
the Armenians from the regions that are theirs. The 
Turk, like the German, Magyar and Bulgar, will re- 
main where he belongs. Out of the broad territory 
over which he at present domineers, he will be allowed 
to keep his just pound of flesh, but woe to him here- 
after if he sheds one drop of Christian blood. . . . 

The Eeoeganisation op Europe 

This settlement of Turkey is a logical element in 
the Allies' general aim in the War: — ^^The reorgani- 
sation of Europe, gua/ra/nteed by a stable settlement, 
based alike upon the principle of nationalities, on the 
right which all peoples, whether small or great, have 
to the enjoyment of full security and free economic 
development, and also upon territorial agreements and 

12 "muedeeous tyranny of the tueks" 

international arrangements so framed as to guarantee 
land and sea frontiers against unjust attacks.^' 

This aim is no invention of yesterday; it has been 
the aspiration of all lovers of liberty for a century 


^Let the Turks/ ^ said Mr. Gladstone in a famous 
speech, ^^now carry away their abuses in the only 
possible manner, namely, by carrying away thewr 
selves. Their Zaptiehs and their Mudirs, their Bimr 
bashis and their Tv^sbashis, their KoAmahams and 
their Pashas, one and all, bag and baggage, shall I 
hope clear out from the province they have desolated 
and profaned.'^ 

The province for which Mr. Gladstone pleaded was 
Bulgaria ; but since Bulgaria has been freed, the other 
peoples who have still remained under the tyranny 
have suffered horrors infinitely worse in their extent 
and their iniquity than those which in 1876 aroused 
the indignation of the world. 

Heinrich von Treitschke loved many things more 
than liberty, but the profanation of liberty by the 
Turk drew from him a denunciation as strong as 
Gladstone's own. **A near future,^' he writes, ^^unU, 
it is to be hoped, blot out the scandal that such 
heathendom should ever have established itself on 
European soil. Wha/t has this Turkish Empire done 
in three entire centuries? It has done nothing but \ 

destroy.'^ / 

Treitschke and Gladstone, men who stood for very 
different ideals in Europe, both called with one voice 

"mUKDEROUS tyranny of the TURKS*' 18 

for liberation from the Turk ; and the Allies are strug- 
gling now to bring what they strove for to comple- 

The Principle of Nationalitebs 

. In the settlement of Turkey, conspicuously, the 
Allies will be crowning a historic task, at which they 
themselves have laboured in former times. The lib- 
eraiion of the subject peoples of Turkey, and the re- 
orgamsation upon the principle of nationalities of 
countries under the Sultan's murderous tyraivny, be- 
gan a century ago with the national struggles for in- 
dependence of the Serbs and Gredcs — struggles which 
were part of the general struggle for freedom in 
Europe, and which gave inspiration to the people of 
other subject lands. England, France and Bussia 
stepped in in 1827 to secure Greece the reward of her 
heroism when she was almost succumbing to her op- 
pressor; Bussia compelled Turkey to recognise Serb- 
ian autonomy in her treaty of peace with Turkey in 
1831 ; Russia, again, by taking up arms in 1877, freed 
Rumania and Serbia from Turkish suzerainty, liber- 
ated more of their oppressed brethren for Serbia and 
Greece, and restored Bulgaria to national existence. 
In the Balkan War of 1912-3, the Balkan nations car- 
ried on the work by their unaided strength, and ex- 
pelled the Ottoman Empire from all the provinces 
over which it still tyrannised in Europe, with the ex- 
ception of Constantinople and Thrace. In 1916, the 
Sherif of Mecca, at the opposite extremity of the 
Ottoman conqueror's domain, liberated an Arab prov- 
ince and the Holy Arab City of which he is the legiti- 
mate head. It is for the Entente to liberate the Arabs 

14 "murderous tyranny of the Turks" 

of Syria and the Armenians, who cannot save them- 

The Syrians and Armenians have not, as the Turks 
and Germans allege, been disloyal to Turkey in her 
hour of danger. The Arab and Armenian conscripts 
have fought dutifully for a cause not their own in 
the Balkan War and in the present more terrible con- 
flict. Their leaders are too prudent and the people 
too peaceable, their stake is too great, their forces are 
too scattered, to allow them for a moment to contem- 
plate rising in arms. But their loyal and straight- 
forward conduct has not preserved them from th© 
ferocity of their Turkish rulers; it has only exposed 
them to a cold-blooded scheme of extermination which 
the Young Turks are prosecuting at this moment with 
all their might. The redemption of these innocent 
peoples from the hell into which they have been cast, 
and where they will remain in agony so long as Otto- 
man and Prussian militarism holds out, is incumbent 
upon the Allies if they are to redeem their plighted 



This is what the Allies owe in the settlement of 
Turkey to the principle of nationaUties. But they are 
further pledged to vindicate the right which all peo- 
ples, whether small or great, have to the enjoyment 
of full security and free economic development, and 
this touches the status of Constantinople. 

Constantinople, since the Turks conquered it from 
its last Christian Emperor in 1453, has been the politi- 

"mubjderous tyranny of the tueks" 15 

cal capital of the Ottoman Empire. But ever since it 
has been a city at all, it has also been the strategical 
and economic key to the Black Sea, conditioning the 
security and dominating the economic development of 
all peoples bordering on the Black Sea coasts. It is 
the most cosmopolitan city in the world. It is the 
Turk's at present by right of conquest, but that right 
-justifies his expulsion by war if it justifies his original 
intrusion, and on broader considerations of popula- 
tion, sentiments, traditions and monuments of the 
past, Constantinople is more truly the capital of all 
the Christian peoples of the East. But it is not the ex- 
clusive possession of any of its native inhabitants, 
whether their presence there dates from more ancient 
or from comparatively recent times. The most im- 
portant quarter in Constantinople is Pera, across the 
Golden Horn, which is inhabited by a foreign mercan- 
tile community, as international in its composition as 
the mercantile community in the Chinese '* Treaty 
Port" of Shanghai. The chief volume of the transit 
trade which gives Constantinople its rank as a port, 
passes through these foreign residents' hands. But 
even they are not the parties most vitally concerned 
in the economic status of Constantinople and the 
Straits. If conditions do not suit them, they can 
transfer their business elsewhere. The parties to 
whom the destiny of Constantinople is a matter of 
life and death are Bussia and Bumania, two coun- 
tries bound for ever by their geographical position to 
conduct their maritime trade through the Black Sea 
and the Straits that give entrance to it, and therefore 
at the mercy economically of any third power that 
holds the control of the Straits in its hands. 

16 "mxjbderous tyranny of the tueks" 

The BiQfHT to Full Secubitt 

And this is not a theoretical question. It is a prac- 
tical problem for the national economy of Bussia . 
every year, and introduces a factor of uncertainty 
into Russia's national trading which is profoundly 
detrimental to her prosperity. As sovereign of the 
Straits, Turkey not only possesses the technical right 
of closing the Straits to shipping; she exercises it in 
an arbitrary fashion. Three times the Straits have 
been closed by Turkey within the last half-dozen years 
— during her war with Italy, during the war with 
the Balkan States, and after the outbreak of the Eu- 
ropean war at a date previous to the intervention of 
Turkey herself in the struggle. It is possibly argu- 
able that the closing was necessary in each of these 
cases from a military point of view, to safeguard Tur- 
key 's political ownership of these ^'territorial 
waters.'' But if so, that is in itself the strongest 
argument for taking out of the hands of an independ- 
ent, irresponsible government a highway of commerce 
the, proper regulation of which is essential to the 
economic well-being of the Bussian and Rumanian 
peoples. Even if Turkey were a friendly, steady-go- 
ing State, the situation would hardly be tolerable ; but 
actually, whether through fault or misfortune, she has 
been at war more often during the last century than i 

any other State in the world, and her hostility has 
been directed principally against Russia, the country 
most vitally affected by the disturbance of the traffic ^ 

through the Straits. The closing of the Straits in the 
last instance, when Russia was at war with Germany 

"mxtrderous tyranny of the tueks" 17 

and was in urgent need of the importation of sup- 
plies^ can hardly be interpreted otherwise than as a 
hostile act — ^an anticipation of the open war which 
Turkey made on Bussia within the next few wedos. 
To leave this economic weapon in Turkey's hands at 
the peace settlement would be impossible. By closing 
the Straits in any given year at the precise moment 
when the Bussian harvest was shipped and ready to 
sail, and when the Bussian importers had made their 
annual foreign purchases on credit up to the full 
prospective value which the harvest would realise in 
the markets of the world, Turkey could threaten 
Bussia with a financial crisis verging on national 
bankruptcy. Full security and free economic develop- 
ment for Bussia would have vanished beyond the hori- 
zon, and not only for Bussia but for the whole world, 
for with such a trump card in tiieir hands, Turkey 
and her German patrons could never resist the temp- 
tation of waging an economic **war after the war,'* 
which might bring Bussia to her knees and enable 
them to realise those ambitions against her which they 
have been unable to realise by force of arms. 

No Alternative 

That is why the control of the Straits, as well as 
the dominion over subject peoples, must be taken 
from the Ottoman Turks in the reorgcmisation of Eu- 
rope, ffuxuranteed hy a stable settlement, which is the 
aim of the Allies. But neutrals, rightly anxious for a 
peace as speedy as may be compatible with the at- 
tainment of the essential objects at stake, may ask 
whether either or both of the objects essential 

18 "murderous tyranny of the TURKS*' 

to the settlement of the Turkish Empire are 
not attainable by less drastic measures than a re- 
drawing of frontiers and a transference of territorial 
sovereignty. Cannot the liberation of the subject peo- 
ples be effected, without impairing Turkey's terri- 
torial integrity, by some system of devolution or local 
autonomy, under external guarantee and supervision? 
Is not this a field where the chief belligerents on 
either side, with the addition of the United States, 
might work together in concert? The answer is that 
this was precisely the solution attempted during the 
19th century, and that through the present war it has 
finally broken down. During the 19th century the 
Concert of Europe did actually bring Turkey under' 
a certain tutelage. The Ottoman tariff was regulated 
by treaty," the customs and other branches of revenue 
were managed by an International Administration of 
the Ottoman Debt, representing Turkey's bondhold- 
ers. There were various experiments in local au- 
tonomy; Crete and the Lebanon enjoyed self-govern- 
ment under foreign guarantee ; there was an attempt 
to cure the anarchy deliberately fomented by the 
Turkish government in Macedonia, by forcing the gov- 
ernment to accept foreign gendarmerie-inspectors with 
definite spheres of supervision; there was a promise 
of reforms in the Armenian Vilayets, exacted from 
Turkey at the International Congress of Berlin, but 
never carried beyond the stage of paper schemes. It is 
unfortunately true that this joint European tutelage 
was illusory, that it failed to remove or even mitigate 
the murderous tyranny that has always characterised 
Turkish government, and that the Young Turks have 
used the opportunity of the War to repudiate 

"mubderoxjs tybanny of the tueks" 19 

it altogether. The British people have not lightly or 
inconsiderately accepted this conclusion — as they have, 
by implication, accepted it in framing this joint Note 
in conjunction with their Allies. They advance these 
two aims with regard to the settlement of Turkey — 
the liberation of the subject peoples and the expul- 
sion of Turkey from Europe — ^in the absolute convic- 
tion that they are necessary and right. But this con- 
viction is in itself a very bitter confession of failure. 
It marks the reversal of a policy pursued for a cen- 
tury past; for during the whole of the 19th century 
Great Britain was the chief advocate of the policy 
which aimed at the settlement of Turkey by the pres- 
ervation of her territorial integrity subject to the ac- 
tive tutelage of the Concert of Europe. British diplo- 
macy was constantly exerted on this behalf, and Brit- 
ish belief in this policy was so sincere that half a 
century ago Great Britain embarked in pursuit of it 
on a bloody war with one of her present allies. If 
Great Britain Iq now a convinced adherent of the 
alternative and more drastic settlement, it is because 
the system of joint European control, after a century 
of experiment which perpetuated and aggravated the 
ancient tyranny, bloodshed and despair, has been 
made finally impossible by the present War. 

The Tubco-German Compact 

It was to end it that the Young Turks entered the 
war on Germany's side; for foreign control automati- 
cally breaks down if one Great Power, and still more 
if a group of two Powers, stands out of the Concert, 
renounces responsibility for the policy of the Turkish 

20 "mubdekoxts tybanny of the TiniKS" 

govermnent towards the subject peoples and the eco- 
nomic highways which it holds in its power, and sup- 
ports that government effectively in repudiating all 
claim to intervention on the part of the other Powers 
concerned. But this was the bargain struck between 
Germany and the Young Turks when Turkey at- 
tacked the Allies, without provocation, in October, 
1914. The Young Turks placed all their economic 
and military resources at Germany's disposal. Turk- 
ish troops (including of course the due percentage of 
conscripts from the subject peoples) are fighting 
Germany's battles on the Biga, Halicz and Dobrudja 
fronts. The vast undeveloped economic resources of 
the Empire are, in the event of victory, to be thrown 
open to German exploitation when peace returns. 
These are concessions which Turkey has always jeal- 
ously refrained from making to any other Power ; and 
the price Germany has paid for them is the guaran- 
tee of just one thing — ^that the Young Turks shall 
have a free hand to repudiate all external control and 
to carry through their policy of **Ottomanisation'' to 
a finish. 

A Free Hand to "Ottomanisb** 

The Turks have not delayed in carrying out their 
side of the bargain, and they have been equally 
prompt in using the free hand assured them by Ger- 
many in return. First they repudiated the ''Capitu- 
lations" — a system of treaties not particularly equi- 
table in themselves, but still treaties to which Turkey 
was pledged — ^by which the civil liberties of foreign 
residents in Turkey were guaranteed against the im- 
perfections of Turkish judicial procedure. Then they 

"mtjrdeeotjs tyranny of the Turks" 21 

repudiated the tariff treaties, and substituted for 
them a new tariff (recently published) of their own. 
Next they abrogated the Reform Scheme for the Ar- 
menian Vilayets, which the Concert of Europe had 
finally induced them to ratify, and dismissed the two 
Insi>ectors-General, a Dutchman and a Norwegian, 
whom they had themselves commissioned to carry the 
scheme into effect. But these breaches of contract 
were minor offences compared to the Armenian De- 
pfnrtations, the horror of which has been indicated 
briefly above, and which they did not venture to carry 
out until the Dardanelles Expedition had failed. To 
complete the elimination of every non-Turkish ele- 
ment in the Empire, they are now trying to rid them- 
selves of the American Missionaries. 

The Campaign Against the Missionabies 

The attitude of the Young Turks towards the Mis- 
sionaries shows that their '^Nationalism" has made 
them not only criminal but insane. The American 
Missionaries have worked in Turkey for more than 
eighly years. Their aim has been to revive religion 
in the subject Christian peoples and to give them an 
enlightened modern education ; they have pursued this 
aim disinterestedly with a striking measure of suc- 
cess, and they have extended their work to the Mos- 
lems as far as the latter have responded to their ad- 
vances. They are the creators of practically all the 
secondary education that exists in Turkey to-day. 
The most intelligent and progressive elements in the 
population of the Empire have come most under their 
influence, and have received from them a moral and 

22 "muederous tykanny of the tusks'* 

intellectual stimulus which they could never have 
found for themselves. The educational work of the 
Missionaries should have been mentioned among the 
attempts made during the 19th century to reform 
Turkey gradually by a reconstruction within ; for the 
effect of this work was far more penetrating, and far 
more fraught with hope for the future, than most of 
the political expedients instituted with diplomatic 
pomp and ceremony by the Concert of the Powers. 
And the Missionaries were the best friends of the 
Turkish government as well as of their subject peo- 
ples. They took no part in their pupils' politics; they 
had no ulterior political purpose of their own to serve. 
They were the most valuable voluntary assistants the 
Young Turks could have had in what should have 
been their foremost aims if they had acted up to their 
democratic professions, and they were the assistants 
whom they had least of all to fear. 

Actually, however, the Young Turks, after they 
had destroyed the Missionaries* work by exterminat- 
ing the subject peoples among whom it was princi- 
pally carried on, dragging away to exile, shame and 
death the boys and girls in their schools, torturing 
to death the native professors whom the Missionaries 
had trained up to be their colleagues, have finally con- 
fiscated the American schools, colleges and mission- 
stations in many parts of the Empire, and have put 
the harshest pressure on the Missionaries themselves 
to quit the country of which they are the benefac- 

On April 4th, 1916, the Turkish newspaper Hilal 
published an article in praise of a lecture by a mem- 

"muederoxjs tykanny of the tueks" 28 

ber of the German Reichstag called Traub, in which 
the lecturer is reported to have declared himself ** op- 
posed to all missionary activities in the Turkish Em- 

'*The suppression/' writes HikU, **of the schools 
founded and directed by ecclesiastical missions, a 
measure which follows the abolition of the capitulary 
regime, was no less important. Thanks to their 
schools, foreigners were able to exercise great influ- 
ence over the young men of the country, and they 
were virtually in charge of the spiritual and intel- 
lectual guidance of our country. By closing them the 
Government has put an end to a situation as humili- 
ating as it was dangerous. . 


This is the policy of Ottomanisation. But it was 
put more bluntly by a Turkish gendarme in conver- 
sation with a Danish Red Cross Sister, who had been 
dismissed from her post in a hospital at Erzindjan for 
protesting against the Armenian Deportations. 
** * First,' he said, *we kill the Armenians, then the 
Greeks, then the Kurds.' He would certainly," the 
Danish lady comments, **have been delighted to add: 
'And then the foreigners.' " * 

The Tubco-German Alliance 

If they had not had the moral and military sup- 
port of Germany, the Young Turks would never have 
been able to wage this final campaign of extermina- 

*See British Official Publication: "The Treatment of Ar- 
menians in the Ottoman Empire'' (Misc. 31, 1916). 

24 "muederous tyeanny of the tueks'* 

tion upon every element of good in the countries and 
the peoples that are in their power. But it is not 
mere chance that the Turks and Oermans have come 
together for these unholy ends. 

In pursuing her ambition, Germany has found in- 
valuable instruments in the Hapsburg and Ottoman 
Empires. These States would be anachronisms in a 
free democratic Europe, and were destined, if all went 
well with the world's development, to be transformed 
into willing federations or else to dissolve into their 
constituent peoples. But neither federalisation nor 
dissolution suited the interest of the tyrannous mi- 
nority which has so far dominated and exploited each 
of these Empires for its own selfish purposes. In 
the Hapsburg Empire the tyrants are the corrupt 
Magyar aristocracy, which dominates Hungary, and 
through Hungary the Empire as a whole. In the Otto- 
man Empire they are the Young Turks, a secret so- 
ciety with its central committee at Constantinople 
and branch committees in the provinces, and with a 
gang of sordid adventurers as their puppets in the 
nominal headship of what professes to be a demo- 
cratic government. 

The Young Turks and the Magyar Oligarchy saw 
that the guarantee of Prussia, and that alone, could 
preserve their tyranny against the progress of Democ- 
racy in Europe. The Prussians saw that the Turks 
and Magyars could sell them 70,000,000 human be- 
ings for ^'canonen futter,*' in addition to the 70,000,- 
000 Germans, Poles, Alsatians and Danes whom they 
already possessed. This extra 70,000,000 seemed to 

"muwdekous tybanny of the tueks" 25 

pnt world dominiooL within tiieir readi. The bargain 
was gtmck, and the War was made under which the 
whole world is suffering, and must still suffer for a 
season, if liberty is to be saved and the evil of cen- 
turies to be brought to a tardy end. 

There is no possibility of returning to the Status 
Quo before August 1914 — ^first, because the Status 
Quo under the Turks was itself the mere perpetuation 
of an oppression and a misery that disgraced the 
civilised world, and that should have been ended long 
before; and secondly, because it has been made un- 
speakably worse during the War than it was before it. 
Every element of good that had maintained its exist- 
ence under Turkish government, and that made less 
intolerable a system that in itself was too wicked to 
survive, is being stamped out now by deportation, 
spoliation; abduction and massacre. The evil has 
purged itself altogether of the good. Turkish tyranny 
has been stimulated by the German alliance into an 
unnatural vitality, and the Central Confederates 
dream of putting the clock in South-Eastem Europe 
a century back. Debauching one of the Balkan States 
by gorging her with spoil from the rest, they hope to 
stamp out liberty in the Balkans altogether, to re- 
conquer for Militarism the field which the 19th cen- 
tury won here for Democracy, and to build over it a 
bridge by which three tyrant peoples, the Prussian, 
the Magyar and the Turk, shall join hands in domi- 
nating and destroying without interference a multi- 
tude of smaller and weaker peoples from Alsace to 
Rumania and from Schleswig to Baghdad.